is an African American Ethno musician. "We play specific musical traditions, both in terms of musical structure, repertory and performance, and in terms of the part music plays in society; on the other hand we consider the principles and methods that may be applied to the study of any music in its cultural setting, and the problems and insights that arise when we compare musics on a worldwide basis. The term ethnomusicology is generally applied to this multifaceted approach to the performance of world music."
Ralph Thomas has been using fusion music since the early 60?s. "My music has always been open to different cultures and sounds Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, Mexican, Peruvian, American, Hebrew, Turkish, African, Indian & Japanese.
Ralph Thomas was born in Chicago in 1950. He performs on saxophone, flute, bagpipes and percussion. While attending the Chicago conservatory of music in 1969 he became a member of the Chicago A.A.C.M, studying with Phil Cohran and Richard Muhal Abrams, and recording with well known Chicago Blues legends, Howling Wolf and mighty Joe Young on the Cadet Label. In 1974, he moved to Los Angeles, where he was immediately accepted by Motown Records and 20th Century Fox. He was sought by and recorded with such celebrated artists as Marvin Gaye, Jermaine Jackson, Smokey Robinson, and Rick James.
In 1980 Ralph moved on to record and produce his own album, "Eastern Standard Time", released on Zebra Jazz label, which was successful, not only in the U.S but also in Europe.
In 1981 Ralph recorded for Quincey Jones Prod : on such soundtracks as Roots, and The Color Purple. In 1985 his love for Afro-Caribbean rhythms took him further afield to the Caribbean, recording for Jack Ruby with well-known reggae artists Augustus Pablo and Gregory Isaac.
He toured with various Caribbean bands in order to capture the spirit of these rhythms, In 1986 he moved to New York City where he was able to experience the essence of both Samba and Salsa, performing with Johnny Colon, Don Cherry, Olatunji and Sun Ra.
Since 1993 Ralph Thomas has been based in Paris and has had several tours in Europe with Mra Oma. Since 1996 Ralph has been successful in recording with many artists in Paris, which has included Sara Alexandra, Mra Oma and Ranaivo-Rajaona Hery. He has also performed with Sunny Murray, Archie Sheep, Trilok Gurtu, The Master Drummers of Nepal at Katmandu,etc. Currently Performing with Issan Jazz Project at Northgate Jazz In Chiang Mai Thailand.